U.S. President Joe Biden hosts debt limit talks with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 22, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Leah Millis | Reuters
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday that the tentative deal House Republicans have reached with the White House to address the country’s debt ceiling will be “transformal” for the American public.
McCarthy told reporters that negotiators worked all night to finalize details of the agreement and that they tried to limit the bill to about 150 pages to make it easier for members of Congress and the public to understand. President Joe Biden and McCarthy are scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. ET Sunday to ensure both sides agree on the wording of the bill, McCarthy said.
“We know any time you’re sitting down and negotiating with two parties, you have to work with both sides of the aisle,” McCarthy said. “So it’s not 100% what everyone wants, but if you look at it, the country will be stronger.”
Once the deal is finalized, it must pass Congress and get Biden’s signature to avoid a catastrophic default on the US government debt. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that “economic chaos” could ensue if the debt ceiling is not raised by early June.
McCarthy said Sunday he believes Republicans would support the bill and, assuming Biden gives his approval, expects Democrats to support it as well. McCarthy also commended Biden and his staff for their conduct during the tense negotiations.
“I found his team very professional, very smart and at the same time very tough,” he said.
In a letter Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., invited Democratic senators to a briefing call with Biden’s negotiating team at 6:30 p.m. ET to discuss the details of the deal. He urged senators to prepare for possible Friday or weekend votes next week ahead of the Treasury Department’s upcoming June deadline.
“I applaud President Biden for protecting America’s economy and serving American families by taking the risk of default off the table,” Schumer wrote.
Some House Republicans, like Texas Rep. Chip Roy, have been vocal in criticizing the deal on social media. Roy wrote in a tweet on Sunday that he would “try” to prevent the bill from passing in the House of Representatives.
McCarthy urged congressmen Sunday to read the bill after it’s published before taking a stand.
“Let’s actually have members read the bill before they make a decision to go ahead,” he said.